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Monthly Archives: August 2013
If you think about it, we respond to whatever arises into consciousness with desire, aversion, or neutrality. And the things that appear to consciousness are always in flux: they arise, they ripen, they decline from attention and disappear. Then others … Continue reading
The eagle flies, the crows perch. The eagle craps on the crows’ perch.
Your health insurance company likes them. If a health insurance executive compares the data of two populations–say, 100,000 people who have had flu shots and 100,000 people who haven’t–she finds something significant: the rates of illness and mortality in the … Continue reading
The Real as illustrated in courtly love. In his essay, “Courtly Love, or, Woman as Thing” (1994) cultural critic Slavoj Zizek (b. 1949) presents courtly love—knight-Lady romance as ritualized in the European Middle Ages—through a Lacanian lens (Jacques Lacan, the … Continue reading
A lot of us are brought under the spell of false beliefs because we can tell a good story about how they might be true, they are consistent with logic (they are logically possible), and we want to be believe them. We’re quite good, … Continue reading
Outer v. inner direction. The philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) had a decisive influence on Karl Marx, and he continues to exert influence on intellectual thought today. For this reason, it’s good to know the gist of Hegel’s theorizing … Continue reading
From a recent interview: It’s just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don’t have to really face up to the fact that, you know, … Continue reading
Speaking truth to power and standing up for the stigmatized and persecuted.
A Cautionary Tale. As a Southerner living in Virginia in the 18th century, Thomas Jefferson once encountered a jaw-dropping claim, and it came from two eyewitnesses. They said they had seen rocks fall from the sky. Rocks from the sky. They even … Continue reading
Imitation and emulation. The ancient Greek teacher Longinus is among the first persons to address what would become a recurrent theme in the history of rhetoric and literary criticism: the sublime (elevated emotion; ecstasy). His reflections on the sublime can … Continue reading
At The Daily Beast, academics and writers were asked to name “one book that [college] students shouldn’t escape campus without having read.” MIT professor and Pulitzer Prize winner, Junot Diaz, picked Toni Morrison’s Beloved because it “stabs straight at the heart … Continue reading
The dookie left the doggie; the doggie left the dookie. For me.
This is being reported by the AP today: Mustafa Hegazy, a political adviser to interim President Adly Mansour, told a press conference Saturday that […] Egyptians took to the streets on June 30 – the day that led to Morsi’s ouster … Continue reading
I am soooo in love with the Fiat 500 series microcars, and am tempted to buy one whenever I see them on the road (which is frequently; microcars are everywhere in California). But I already have a small car and … Continue reading
Pleasure in concentration and pursuit. And notice the constant tail wagging. On your way to dusty death (Heidegger called us “beings unto death”), do you have a satisfying mental and physical practice that keeps you occupied? Aside from giving you … Continue reading
Political scientist Ruy Teixeira is skeptical of the “maximize the white vote” strategy that some Republicans are advocating for the next couple of election cycles: White voters are likely to become less, not more, conservative over time, presenting a huge obstacle … Continue reading
A great ad made by his son, Dante. Bill de Blasio, who is white, has a black wife and two children by her. His wife, before she married him, was a lesbian. How cool is that? __________ Here’s a bit from … Continue reading
One good thing about God belief of the Christian variety (if you can swing it) is that it inoculates you from other forms of irrationality. A nonbeliever in God is more prone to, say, succumbing to the delusions of Marxism … Continue reading
Goose bumps. Here’s Harvard’s Steven Pinker: Our own bodies are riddled with quirks that no competent engineer would have planned but that disclose a history of trial-and-error tinkering: a retina installed backward, a seminal duct that hooks over the ureter like a … Continue reading